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Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 



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Introduction to Electronics: The 
Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 

Written By: KRA5H 

PARTS: 

Battery Holder (2-AA) # 6SC B1 (1) 
Base Grid (11" x 7.7") # 6SC BG (1) 
6V Lamp Socket (With Bulb) # 6SC L2 (1) 
Slide Switch # 6SC S1 (1) 
Conductor with 3-snaps # 6SC 03 (1) 
Conductor with 2-snaps # 6SC 02 (4) 



SUMMARY 

In this article you will learn how a single-pole single-throw switch works. You will learn how 
to build a simple circuit and to understand Direct Current (DC). 

I used Snap Circuits to demonstrate this circuit because it is easy for you to understand 
what's going on in a circuit as you learn by doing; that is, you learn about electronics by 
actually building the circuits. 

Snap Circuits is an educational toy that teaches electronics with solderless snap-together 
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Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 



electronic components. Each component has the schematic symbol and a label printed on its 
plastic case that is color coded for easy identification. They snap together with ordinary 
clothing snaps. The components also snap onto a 10 X 7 plastic base grid analogous to a 
solderless breadboard. 

All the kits include manuals printed in color with easy-to-follow diagrams to assemble the 
projects. The illustrations for each project look almost exactly like what the components will 
look like on the base grid when finished. Because the electronic symbol is printed on each 
electronic component, once the project is completed it will look almost exactly like an 
electronic schematic. 

All parts come from the Snap Circuits Extreme 750 set available at RadioShack or individual 
parts can be ordered here . 



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Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 



Step 1 — Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 

• When you enter a dark room, what 
is the first thing you usually do? 
Look for a light switch. You flip the 
switch on and let there be light. 

• A switch is probably the simplest 
electronic device. When the switch 
is off, the circuit is open and no 
electricity can flow. 

• The Single-Pole Single-Throw 
switch, or "Slide Switch" (S1) as it 
is labeled in Snap Circuits, is 
similar to a light switch in your 
home that you flip to switch it on. 

• Current then flows from the 
positive side of the battery (marked 
with a "+" sign) to ground (marked 
with a"-" sign). 

• The switch will remain on until you 
slide the switch to the "off" 
position. 




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Introduction to Electronics 


The Single 


-Pole Single 


-Throw Switch 




Step 2 




• To use the water pipe analogy, 
imagine a tank of water with a pipe 
connected at the bottom. 

• To stop the water from running out 
of the tank, we can add a valve- 
more commonly called a faucet. 

• When the valve is off, no water can 
flow through the pipe. 



Step 3 













Tank 

Valve <on) 












Pipe 



• Conversely, when the valve is on, 
water can drain out of the tank and 
flow through the pipe. 



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Introduction to Electronics: 


:The Single 


-Pole Single 


-Throw Switch 




Step 4 



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Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 



Water Tower 



SPRINGFIELD 




Potential Energy 




m m 



Water Hose 



Kinetic Energy 



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• In a DC (direct current) circuit 
where the electricity can only flow 
in one direction, we can think of a 
battery as a storage tank like the 
water tower in your neighborhood. 

If nobody turned on their faucet, the 
water in the tower would just sit 
there... forever. 

• Physicists like to think of this as 
"potential energy." 

• Like a boulder at the top of a hill, it 
will just sit there, forever, until 
someone pushes it over the hill or 
an earthquake shakes it from the 
top of the hill or erosion 
undermines it starting it to roll 
down the hill. 

• When the boulder is rolling down 
the hill, physicists like to think of 
this as kinetic energy. 

• So, the water will just sit in the top 
of the water tower until you turn on 
the faucet to your water hose. The 
water will then flow from the top of 
the water tower through your water 
hose and then on to the ground. 

• You can then think of the flow of 
water as kinetic energy and this 
kinetic energy can be used to do 
useful work. 

• When no circuit is connected to 
your battery, it is like a storage 
tank, or potential energy. 

• When a circuit is connected to your 
battery you can think of it as 

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Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 



Step 5 



current flowing from the positive 
side of the battery (marked with a 
"+" sign) to ground (marked with a 
"-" sign) and you can think of the 
flow of current as kinetic energy 
that can be used to do useful work 
such as light up an incandescent 
bulb. 



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• Build the circuit shown-the photographs show the step-by-step build. 

• If you would like to design your own circuits, you can download the Snap Circuits Designer 
from this web page . 

• When you have finished building the circuit, move the Slide Switch (S1) from the off 
position to the on position and the lamp will light up. 



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Page 7 of 8 



Introduction to Electronics: The Single-Pole Single-Throw Switch 



Step 6 




• This is the electronic symbol for the switch so that you will be able to recognize it on an 
electronic schematic. 

• I've also included a photo of the Snap Circuits Slide Switch (S1) block ( source ). 

• To see an example of a Snap Circuits manual, and to review the circuit source, go here 
and scroll down to Project #1 . 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 0-31 08:02:45 AM. 



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